Now stop us when this starts to sound familiar — it’s a Friday night like any other, and you’re enjoying a few hard-earned beers with your new coworkers at happy hour. As your companions rehash the week’s trials and triumphs, one colleague congratulates you for totally crushing it on your first week. You try to respond graciously, but on the inside, you’re a nervous wreck. Sooner or later, they’re going to find out I’m a fake. You might be thinking. Someday they’ll see me for what I really am — an organ-devouring alien that has been wearing this human’s skin for the last 36 months. We just want you to know that you’re not alone. Welcome to the Impostor Syndrome.
Let’s face it: we live in a culture that is incredibly unfriendly to parasitic “aliens” that drain human hosts for sustenance. Every day, you might wake up squished inside of a primitive creature’s brain thinking “Who am I? What am I doing here?” We get it. Getting used to this bustling, archaic, doomed world long enough to harvest its sapient life can be a daunting task. Every thinking being in this universe questions its place within the greater whole, but these feelings can be especially troublesome when you’re hiding in another living creature’s skin. No matter how much ennui you feel as you drift from host to host, the important thing is to keep on striving towards confidence. We’ve put together five tips that can help you conquer both your discomfort and this planet of living meals.
1) Stop comparing yourself to other flesh-eating alien overlords
The temptation to put your heroes on a pedestal can be difficult to avoid. Consider this: others of your kind might have devoured host after host and decimated planet after planet in the name of the Grand Imperial Hivemistress. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have something unique to offer. Remind yourself that you wouldn’t have been assigned to slowly infiltrate and undermine this civilization if you weren’t a valuable member of the Hive.
2) Establish a self-care routine
After a long day of harvesting primitive alien hosts, it’s important to give yourself a break. Sure, work is important, but if you aren’t letting yourself recharge, you’re likely to burn yourself out and lose control of your host before you have fully assimilated into its brain. From there, its body will reject you and you will be unable to retreat as it starts to rapidly disintegrate. Try to get a full 8 hours of sleep every night and stay away from screens before bed.
3) Practice positive self-talk
Take time to celebrate your successes. How many worlds have you brought to their knees before they had the opportunity to mount a formidable opposition? How thoroughly have you saturated the Earth with millions of egg clusters that will soon hatch and harvest all living things in their path? It’s important to take stock of these things. Quantifying your accomplishments can also look great on a human resume or a report back to the Imperial Hive Base.
4) Fake it ‘til you make it
You can devour all the human hosts in this world, but it won’t help you assimilate any faster. The only way to seamlessly blend into human society is to mimic their primitive behaviors. Study their crude body language and unevolved methods of communication. Build a social circle and spend quality time with them. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and listen to their responses. Trust us — inquiring about a human’s canine underling will bypass its natural ability to detect a flesh-eating predator in no time.
5) Remember that everyone feels the way you do now
When you infiltrate another creature’s brain and live in its increasingly lifeless body until it starts to fall apart, it’s easy to feel like all of your accomplishments are a sham. Looking into a mirror and seeing a pair of disconcertingly sharp eyes peering out of a sallow, somewhat-moldering face would deeply unsettle any living creature. But keep in mind that every single other member of the Hive on this planet is looking in the mirror and seeing the same thing (more or less, depending on how well their hosts hold together).
You might end up (briefly) living dozens if not hundreds of human lives during your time on this planet. You might as well make the most of it! Don’t forget that while your lifeforce depends on your ability to find a host body, your host doesn’t have this luxury, so take advantage of every day you have before you wear it out. The next time you start to feel like a flawed, lonely, parasitic alien surrounded by unwitting future living harborages, take some solace in these tips and remember that you’re not alone: there are millions of us all around you, hidden in the shadows where humans dare not look.